(New Philadelphia, Ohio) – Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Ohio is making great strides in efforts to connect with the local Hispanic community.
According to the 2017 American Community Survey by the U.S. Census Bureau, Ohio’s Hispanic population has doubled since 2000 and has more than tripled since 1980. In Tuscarawas County, there has been a large increase in the Hispanic population as well.
Unfortunately, there has not been an increase in local services designed to help those individuals. Children who come to the area need help to learn a new culture, language, and school system and often have no one to go to for guidance as parents are often unaware, unequipped, and many times they face a language barrier. Also, many children and youth come to the area unaccompanied and have no one to go to for assistance and can often be easily taken advantage of.
With the help of translators, BBBSECO is trying to help those children, and those parents, by putting someone in their corner who can help them navigate through a number of situations and systems. The organization currently has Hispanic children in site-based programs in local school systems where they meet with a mentor weekly who can assist with school work and asset building.
“We would like to not only help children through on-site matches in their schools but also matches in the community where children can meet with a mentor and do things they both enjoy,” explained officials with the organization. “We would love to partner with Hispanic adults and high school students who are willing to step up and reach out to help a child who is struggling.”
Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Ohio is calling for mentors who can connect with these children and their families and break through cultural barriers. Mentors who can help these children realize their potential during a pivotal time in their life.
A friendship with a mentor who has been through what they are attempting to navigate can make a large, life-changing impact on not only a child but their family as well.
Officials are calling on the community to help them meet the needs of those in the community who are struggling and who can often feel alienated and alone. The agency can help connect services to individuals and families, but they need positive mentors who can encourage these families to be trusting of local agencies and services.
Please reach out to BBBSECO for more information.